At the tail end of his career, Carl Yastrzemski was the subject of three very odd baseball cards. Two were issued by Topps and one by the fledgling Donruss company, whose baseball cards debuted in 1981. In 1978 and 1979, Topps printed cards with Yaz in a pensive, almost forlorn pose, his head tipped back, looking outward and upward, shocks of gray hair hinting at the age of the near-quadragenarian. The ’79 card has a particularly sad feel, coming so soon after Yaz’ foul popout to Nettles to end the 1978 season.
In 1982, Donruss issued a truly strange card showing Yaz, at the ripe age of 42, in drag/slap-bunt posture, certainly one of the rarer poses of Yastrzemski’s historic career. Basically a full-time DH at this point, the Sox legend had his final productive season, going .265-17-62 in 459 at-bats. We were 13 years old at the time and, though the memories are hazy, we don’t much recall Yaz leaning forward in the box, hand on the throat of the bat, preparing to race towards first to beat the toss.